MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — For the first time since 2017, and the 20th time in program history, the West Virginia men’s basketball team will square off against the University of Virginia on Wednesday.
There have been some memorable battles over the years between the most successful basketball programs in the Mountain State and the commonwealth it once belonged to. Each of the last three meetings have featured ranked teams on both benches.
That won’t be the case Wednesday night, though the Cavs are ranked No. 24 in this week’s AP Poll.
Here is a look at some of the best meetings on the hardwood between the Mountaineers and Cavaliers.
December 5, 2017 – West Virginia 68, Virginia 61
This is the most recent meeting between the two programs. The 18th-ranked Mountaineers took down the 15th-ranked Cavs behind a 23-point, 10-rebound performance by Jevon Carter and 22 points and four 3-pointers from Lamont West. Devon Hall and Kyle Guy combined for 37 points for UVA, but West Virginia outscored Virginia 12-5 over the final 4:19 to take the victory.
December 3, 2016 – West Virginia 66, Virginia 57
Another upset, but this time it happened in Charlottesville. No. 25 West Virginia strolled into John Paul Jones Arena and left with a victory. Carter again led the Mountaineers in scoring with 11 points, though eight visiting players scored at least six points that day. Tony Bennett’s squad led by one with less than three minutes to go, and tied the score at 55 all with 1:55 to play. Esa Ahmad sank one of WVU’s four made 3-pointers 25 seconds later, giving the Mountaineers a lead it would not relinquish. Portions of this game were displayed inside Milan Puskar Stadium, as the WVU football team defeated Baylor that same day.
January 30, 1974 – West Virginia 90, Virginia 85 (OT)
Future WVU Sports Hall of Famer Warren Baker’s 30-point, 17-rebound double-double was too much for the Cavs to handle. Baker went 11 for 22 from the floor and 8 for 11 from the foul line, and played 42 minutes in a game that needed overtime to be decided. In fact, this was the third time in the last four seasons these two teams needed OT, but the first time WVU managed to come out on top versus UVA since 1960. For Baker, it was his second consecutive double-double against the Cavs.
February 9, 1972 – Virginia 89, West Virginia 88 (OT)
This was the second-straight overtime contest between the two programs, and the second time in the series history that a game was decided by a singular point. The great Wil Robinson tallied 40 points for the Mountaineers, making 16 of his 19 free throw attempts, and played all 45 minutes. Jim Hobgood, later a color analyst for UVA basketball games, led the way for Virginia with 22 points and 12 boards. The two teams were tied at halftime, and again after regulation, with the Hoos edging the Mountaineers by one inside the Charleston Civic Center.
January 13, 1960 – West Virginia 102, Virginia 81
It’s the second-most-lopsided victory in the series. No. 3 West Virginia, led by Jerry West, dominated Virginia in Charleston. West scored 40 points, making 15 shots from the floor, and grabbed 16 rebounds. The Mountaineers led by eight at halftime, but outscored Virginia by 13 in the second half.